Up Close is Sourcing Journal’s regular check-in with industry executives to get their take on topics ranging from personal style to their company’s latest moves. In this Q&A, Haniff Brown, CEO and founder of augmented reality fit platform Fit:Match, discusses the need for nimbleness and how his company is powering body scanning for Savage X Fenty.
Name: Haniff Brown
Title: CEO and founder
Which other industry has the best handle on the supply chain? What can apparel learn?
Healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Large multinationals like Johnson & Johnson showed us how companies can adapt their supply chains relatively quickly in response to a huge and immediate crisis such as Covid-19. The apparel industry can take lessons from healthcare, pharmaceuticals and other industries on how to become more nimble by investing in technologies and infrastructure that help shorten production cycles and make them more flexible.
How would you describe yourself as a consumer? What does it take to win your loyalty?
I’m most drawn to brands that offer new, unique and high-quality products coupled with exceptional customer service. I’m a very loyal consumer. It may be harder for brands to win my trust initially versus the average consumer, but once they do, they have my confidence for life and I almost never switch to a competing brand.
What’s your typical work (or weekend) uniform?
It’s very simple: a plain black sweatshirt and dark blue slim-fit denim jeans.
Which fashion era is your favorite?
I went to high school in the early 2000s, and that was when I could finally start expressing my own sense of style. So, that was my favorite era, strictly from a personal standpoint.
Who’s your style icon?
What’s the best decision your company has made in the last year?
We didn’t see the right body-scanning technology on the market for our enterprise partners, so we decided to build it ourselves and partner with Savage X Fenty, one of the most innovative and inclusive brands on the market, to launch the technology.
How would you describe your corporate culture?
We iterate very quickly and collaboratively, with no egos involved.
What can companies learn from Covid-19?
Companies have certainly seen how important it is to be flexible and nimble in every part of their business. The pandemic has also shown how much consumers value contactless fitting options.
What should be the apparel industry’s top priority now?
Sustainability and personalization should be top priorities for apparel brands. Consumers are increasingly demanding both, and they are key to growth and efficiency. It’s every brand’s responsibility to operate more sustainably, and thankfully technology innovations are enabling that.
What keeps you up at night?
Continuing to find the right talent and convince those people to join our team.
What makes you most optimistic?
Seeing so many innovations that will make us live better, longer and happier lives.
Tell us about your company’s latest product introduction:
Our B2B technology platform enables innovative brands like Savage X Fenty to match their customers with the best fitting products. Our newest innovation combines AR and lidar-powered smartphones to capture a shopper’s 3D body shape, generate a personalized avatar in seconds, and then provide product recommendations based on the avatar. No pictures or video are recorded or stored in the cloud, so privacy is assured, and the technology is specifically designed to solve the fit issue with hard-to-fit categories, like bras. In Savage X Fenty’s new store, an associate can scan a shopper and the technology instantly provides the best matches from the brand’s assortment based on the shopper’s 3D avatar.